It was better than the Red Arrows, but don't tell my son that I said that. He has wanted to see them since he was about 18 months old and we were given a magazine about the aeroplanes of WWII at RAF Cosford. I once drove him to a country show in Shropshire from our home in Walsall just because they were supposed to be flying. The only trouble is, I got lost and they started coming over the field just as I was trying to get him out of his baby seat, so he has heard the Red Arrows, he has smelt the fumes from their engines, but sadly, he never saw them. The cloud layer was too low and it was also a couple of weeks after their tragic accident, when one pilot was killed, I think. The fly past was all they did. I have seen them though, so I can tell him, which is not the same. I was swimming in the next beach round from St Peter Port in Guernsey with my cousins. We swam out to a rock and climbed up, then waved as the Red Arrows flew over. One waggled his wings in return as he went over out heads. It was noisy and exhilerating, but I still preferred the swallows tonight. I would like to go with them as my husband was born in Zimbabwe, and I have a brother in law I have never met who lives in Pretoria. It would be good to see my husband in his natural environment. However long you live here, if you grew up on another continent or even in a different European country, you come up against a culture clash every single day.
I do envy the swallows their destination, which must seem like a shining paradise written into their memories, but that is only the very end of the story. First there is that amazing journey across the Bay of Biscay, the Sahara desert and then, I'm afraid I don't know where they go, but I do know there are no short cuts. The journey is all.